Business

Colorado Medical Marijuana Regulators Want Your Feedback

Jacqueline Collins
The Colorado Department of Health and Environment is preparing to implement changes to the state's medical marijuana rules in 2018, and there's still time to let the department know what you think of those modifications. Some of the proposed changes are minor, fixing grammatical errors or slightly increasing an application fee, while others are designed to alide the rules with legislation passed in 2017.
The state is accepting feedback from stakeholders on each of the four changes — but what, exactly, is a stakeholder? According to the CDPHE, a stakeholder is (but is not limited to) a:
  • medical marijuana patient (past or current)
  • physician
  • caregiver
  • parent or legal representative of a minor medical marijuana patient
  • legal representative of an adult medical marijuana patient
  • Employee at a marijuana dispensary, cultivation, or infused products facility
  • physician office staff member
  • member of a marijuana advocacy group
The full text of the current rules expected to change, as well how the changes will affect them, are in this public CDPHE document A quick summary:

Changes to align with Senate Bill 17-017
This change would incorporate post-traumatic stress disorder into the list of disabling medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. Some parts of the current medical marijuana code have a different standard for individuals with a disabling medical condition.

Changes to align with House Bill 16-1373
This change would recognize that a caregiver shall not possess medical marijuana at school-sponsored events except when the possession or use occurs in accordance with a school-district board. The modification stems from a bill connected to Jack Splitt, a young medical marijuana patient who battled to medicate at school and recently passed away. This adjustment is part of an overall bill that requires Colorado school districts to adopt medical marijuana policies.

Increase application processing fee by $10
A proposed $10 increase to application fees would bring the total fee to $25 starting in May 2018. The fee was reduced from $35 to $15 in 2014, but current budget estimates project a $10 increase is needed to cover "direct and indirect costs to sustain the Medical Marijuana Registry Program, including critical services such as customer and technical support."

Technical cleanup
These changes include fixing typos, formatting discrepancies and removing language that is no longer applicable to the medical marijuana code, such as requirements to mail in patient or caregiver information now that patients will soon be able to make Medical Marijuana Registry updates online.

Anonymous online responses and mail-in feedback will be accepted until Thursday, November 30. Results will be shared some time after November 30, according to the CDPHE; stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide final feedback until Friday, December 15, with the Board of Health Request for Rulemaking hearing taking place on January 17, 2018. Visit the CDPHE survey to learn more.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell